Page 2: better shots of the bay and first cracked pan
Page 3: Headliner and GLI parts
Page 4: New tire mounted, parts collection, and another cracked pan
Page 5: Air ride install
Gotta start off by saying how much I appreciate a forum like this being in existence. If it wasn't for the internet, I don't think I would have ever had the balls to start working on my own car. A lot of you guys know your ****, and your passion for these vehicles has fueled my desire to modify my own.
I'm 23 now. When I bought this car I was 16 and didn’t have more than a hammer and a Philips head screw driver.
Wow, ok so I guess that's the only picture I have of the car bone stock. Moving on… The picture below is when I decided I wasn't going to pay for the dealership to rape me anymore. The notorious thermostat housing of course. Came at a bad time of year
The next wonderful project I had to do was a heater core. Done, it worked, happy as a clam. No fuss.
Then, after about 100k on the clock, it was clear my suspension was ready to go. The strut bushings were creaking real bad, the rear was squeaking, so I decided I was going to get coils. I Justified the cost by saying I'd do the work myself, but of course I wasn't going to drop my car without getting wheels first! So I picked up what was my dream set for years. I actually started this account just to message the person who owned them (R32R1). I'll never forget meeting that guy. I came out of dunken donuts and saw this R32 riding hoodless parked outside dunks. As I walked closer I saw the shine of a blowerpeaking out and my grin got about a dumb as the one in my first pic. He asked me if I was putting the aristo's on the Jetta I pulled up in, then proceeded to yell at me for having bird **** on my car. I never knew bird **** was bad for your paint before then! This is how uneducated I was! lol Anyway, the wheels sat next to my bed for months before I saved up the cash for my tires, koni's, a suspension refresh, and a rear sway. Then the fun began: the first modification to my car.
But I wanted to go lower! It seemed like every week I was spinning down those Koni's more and more until I was as low as I could go in the front. When I bought the Koni's I told myself it was the best choice because if I was tempted to go lower I would, and end up ruining my car on the streets of Boston. If I wanted to go any lower I'd buy bags. Finally, after taking the rear perches out and picking up some polo 6n bushings, I was a far as I could get and very happy with the results.
Bla bla bla bla then I picked up a Votex bumper that was already painted and some new wheels, roof rack bla bla Have the rear votex, skirts, and badgeless waiting to go on still to this day! Of course I want to, but things keep coming up and then of course, this happened!
Trust me, I know it's weird I have a video of this happening. Truth is my car was down just miles before this happened because I was waiting on a raxle. I finally blew a cv from binding all year. I was filming the video to show how I can actually take right hand turns again. And BTW, Marty is without a doubt the best person I've ever dealt with over the phone. I deal with a lot of vendors at work, and he seriously knows what customer service means. Props to you, Marty, and props to a great product. At least it was great for the first 10 miles lol. So yeah, second time on a tow truck this year. First time was in February when my PS pump blew and sent the pulley going 50 miles an hour down the road.
What happened?!?!?! Ugh I was soooo hoping it was something stupid, but of course in the back of my head I knew I was screwed. I did a compressing test and sure enough, this is the result of a broken timing chain:
Everything happened so fast. One second I was ready to buy a new head and replace the chains, check out the bottom and then in the process of taking out the transmission with my buddy to check on the lower timing chain area, we kind of didn't realize that what would be holding the engine in place (the head attached to the exhaust manifold!!!) wasn't exactly there anymore, and so then the engine wasn't exactly there anymore. That was September 3rd. No engine lift, in the street, at night.
And so I my began journey. As soon as I looked at that effing mess I said screw it, it's out, I'm doing a wire tuck and shaving the bay. There wasn't one point where I had a doubt in my mind. At the same time I had no idea what I was doing. I never even soldered before, much less welded! But I trekked on. I was quickly beginning what would end up consuming my life. I actually took off this semester just to do and pay for this project. I wasn't all too picture happy, but here are some phone pics of the progress.
Finally, it was time for my engine. I had already purchased a used motor and had scheduled a delivery date for the 21st in an attempt to have everything done for brokedown. But of course before the engine showed up, I would need to pick up the last of my fluids.
I was pumped when this dude showed up! Seriously ecstatic! For the first time since it was pulled on the 3rd of september, my bay would finally be filled with something! All the hard work was finally beginning to come together, and the light at the end of the tunnel was near.
We hadn't even finished assembling the engine hoist my buddy let me borrow by the time the truck arrived so needless to say, we weren't ready to just plop it in. But I needed it to at least be mounted by the end of the night. My neighbors already hate me; having a engine sit out on a pallet all night would be begging for them to call the cops. Luckily, once the engine was unloaded and a few things were transferred over from my old one and the transmission was mounted, getting the engine in was actually the easiest part of this whole process.
The next morning I got up good and early to begin. I started by taking more bits and pieces from the old motor and throwing them on. I soon realized there were some more wires that needed to be extended and began that process, mounted the exhaust manifold onto the head and custom made some coolant lines. As the beers were downed and the hours passed, it soon became apparent that getting to brokedown would become quite a task. I finally gave in.
And so I missed brokedown. I screwed up my deadline. So close yet so far! No biggie. To have gotten to the point that I did and having never done half of the things I did, I was thrilled with how close I came. But this still left me anxious to complete it. With winter soon approaching I needed this thing done!
I never thought it would turn out perfect; that was never my intention. My goal during all of this was to have my car running by brokedown, which I'm sure most of you know was postponed this year. Unfortunately that didn't happen, but in the process I learned a lot. This is without a doubt the craziest thing I've even done in two months.
Sorry for the ridiculously long post. Consider this my newb introduction =P
So I finally got the front end back on and threw together the rest of the coolant lines. Not very happy with the result and this will be temporary as I need my car back on the road before street sweeping! What are you 12v guys doing with the filler neck? I've seen one guy running it from one of the lines coming off the heater core, but I'd much rather it be up front. I'm keeping the lines to the t-body so I need to keep that tree which consequently keeps the aux rad lines. You 1.8t guys have so much more room! Lucky!
Last Wednesday I pulled an all-nighter and decided this somebitch was turning over. Around three AM it was show time and sure enough the used motor cranked right up. I took it for a spin with my buddy and all was well. It needed to cool down so I could top it off with more coolant, so I waited. I topped it back off around 4 o'clock in the morning and went for a spin. All was well until my lights started getting dim and sure enough, I was soon on the side of the road yet again. I hoped to god it was just a ground coming loose, but sure enough all was well and I suspected the alternator. I tried to take it apart to paint it during the build, and sure enough I must have broken it in the process. Yet again, I needed a tow… I got home around the time my mom was waking up, passed out for an hour, and went to work.
And so I searched for a used alternator in the area. Two guys said they had one and I could pick it up on Saturday morning, but neither of them came through. I called every damn salvage yard in the area and finally found one for 50 bones! For once, everything was working out! So I got to the yard and the guy pulls the alternator from the back. I was just about to pay when I noticed there was a broken bracket on the damn thing! It was one further from the pulley, so I figured it would be fine; I gave the guy 10 bucks for it
And sure enough, I was back in business. Finally, two months of late nights and 100's of dollars worth of beer paid off.
It needs a good clean before I take some more pics this weekend. Damn daylight savings time has me coming home from work in the dark now